Blind Dave Heeley finishes marathon No.3 in LA
Blind Dave Heeley has completed the third leg of an amazing attempt to run seven marathons on seven continents in just seven days.
Dave, of West Bromwich, aided by his sighted running partner Malcolm Carr, hopes to become the first visually-impaired person to complete the Seven Magnificent Marathons challenge, raising £1 million for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the process.
The 50-year-old was moved to tears by the overwhelming support of representatives of the Guide Dogs of America charity who turned out to support his third marathon attempt in Los Angeles last night.
Blind Dave, as he is known, runs attached to Malcolm by a wrist cord, and they completed the 26.2 mile run at the Rose Bowl stadium in four hours and 35 minutes, finishing at 7.15pm UK time (BST).
In a speech welcoming Mr Heeley to the stadium, Bill Bogaard, the Mayor of the City of Pasadena, said: "Dave Heeley's Seven Magnificent Marathons challenge has inspired and encouraged people across the world to reach for their dreams, no matter how challenging the effort.
"The success of Seven Magnificent Marathons will not be measured by how many miles run, but by the courage necessary to undertake such a challenge. Such courage, in the face of adversity, will be an inspiration for years to come."
On Monday, Mr Heeley completed two marathons, the first on the Falkland Islands, followed by another 26.2 miles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tomorrow he will run a fourth leg in Sydney, Australia, followed by runs in Dubai and Tunisia. For the final leg of the seven continent challenge Dave will join thousands of competitors taking part in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday.
Mr Heeley, who has been visually impaired since birth, was a keen runner as a child but had to give up the sport when he was 16 as his sight deteriorated due to retinitis pigmentosa.The father-of-three was registered blind in 1986 and has said his life was transformed by the work of the Guide Dogs charity.